Gerda van de Windt


Artistic Creativity: Reconciling the cartesian mind-body split
View This Paper


Artistic creativity reconciles the Western Cartesian mind-body split by expressing inner body wisdom and making it public for all to experience. Expression of inner emotional and sensuous wisdom reveals the interconnectedness of all existence and what we do to one affects the whole. In the act of artistic creation, the artist’s heart, hand and mind work in tandem and the Cartesian mind-body split is healed, transforming self and others.

Eastern philosophy has not forgotten the interconnectedness of inner body wisdom and the intellect.. In the act of creation, the artist discovers the ancient truth that both modes of knowledge are equally important as universal truth is found in the beauty of the art medium.
The arts across cultures, time and place are a shared phenomenon of our humanity and may foster understanding and empathy of the human condition and our place in the world.


Gerda van de Windt is a painter currently working on her Arts Education Ph.D. dissertation at Simon Fraser University. Her research interests are Aesthetic education and the Philosophy of Art from the ancient philosopher Longinus to Burke, Kant, Hegel, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Dufrenne, Lyotard, Derrida, and many others have written about the value of the arts and aesthetic experience, both from the perspective of the artist as well as the viewer. As a working artist she believes that creation and appreciation of the arts across cultures may initiate respectful dialogues between self and others that may facilitate mutual respect for individual difference yet illuminates the interconnectedness of our universally shared human condition. Dialogue instead of conflict may facilitate mutual cooperation and understanding between people as creating and appreciating beauty in the arts is a universal cultural phenomenon. In her research she hopes to be able to add to the philosophical discourse from the perspective of a painter, using her own work as a silent language to underscore the often complex issues raised in relation to arts education.